Friday, September 11, 2009

The return of the prodigal(s)

Right. So it has been a long time since I've seen India play any international cricket (the World T20?) and thus, here we are on a wet, dark morning in Brooklyn, watching India take on New Zealand in the Compaq Cup (I have given up trying to understand the provenance of these triangular ODI series). I confess to having tuned out just a bit over the last few weeks as India made noises about their team selection, and thus, it was a pleasant surprise to see Nehra and RP Singh opening the bowling. The former was in danger for being better known for a a little YouTube clip where he says terrible things about Dhoni's sister, and along with the latter, of becoming yet another answer to that well-known trivia question "Which promising promising Indian fast bowler is in danger of slipping into obscurity?". But Delhi's prominence on the national scene, and this stint in the IPL, has done him wonders. And here he is, taking two wickets in his first two overs, both LBWs.

Good Lord, the television screen tells me Nehra played in the West Indies earlier this year as well. Mea culpa. I hadn't realized. I wasn't paying attention to that ODI series.

Which fact brings me to one-day internationals again. A few weeks ago, when Pakistan were touring Sri Lanka, I had noticed that large crowds had not shown up for the ODI series, contributing to a rather flat atmosphere at the ground. While today's small crowd is not surprising, (given that Sri Lanka is not playing), it made me wonder whether it would be only India that could be counted upon to drum up large crowds for bilateral games. And perhaps, then, only for games involving India. Things are a bit worrying for ODIs.

Meanwhile, synoptic musings about various forms of cricket aside, New Zealand have lost three wickets as Taylor goes to RP Singh (I'm glad to see him back in the side as well). Looking ahead, another interesting return awaits: Rahul Dravid is back in action.

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